After a slow start to conference play, the Ohio State baseball team won back-to-back Big Ten series against Michigan and Maryland to put themselves right back of the thick of things in the standings. The Buckeyes could not keep the momentum going, however, as they lost two of three against Iowa this weekend in Columbus. Let’s take a look at how things played out in this three-game series against the Hawkeyes.
Pitching took center stage in the series opener on Friday, as both teams’ starters went deep into the game. Ohio State ace Garrett Burhenn gave the Bucks eight strong innings, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. Iowa starter Cole McDonald was equally impressive, throwing eight innings of two-run ball with eight strikeouts.
The Hawkeyes took a 2-0 lead early on, scoring first on a solo homer in the third inning by Thomas Weitrich and adding another run on a sac-fly in the fifth. Ohio State got on the board in the eighth inning on the strength of a RBI double from Dominic Canzone, but Iowa would get two more in the ninth on a two-run homer by Zeb Adreon to take a 4-1 lead. An RBI double by Brent Todys in the bottom of the frame would cut the deficit to two, but the Buckeyes were unable to push any more runs across as they fell 4-2 in the first game of the series.
Ohio State’s bullpen really let them down in Saturday’s contest. They again got a solid outing from their starter, as Seth Lonsway allowed three runs (one earned) over 5.1 innings pitched with seven strikeouts. However, the Buckeye relievers allowed a four-spot in both and seventh and ninth inning as Iowa dominated OSU 11-4 in the second game of the series. Hawkeye starter Cam Baumann went five innings and allowed just two runs on six hits as the bullpen was able to limit Ohio State’s offense the remainder of the way.
Despite the loss, the Bucks got some nice individual performances from some of their top players. Dillon Dingler went 3-for-5 at the plate, with Brady Cherry and Dominic Canzone each blasting a homer in the game. Matt Carpenter had a nice day at the dish as well, going 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. The game featured as Ohio State’s Zach Farmer Memorial Game, honoring their former teammate who lost his battle with leukemia in 2015.
For the third day in a row, Ohio State’s starting pitcher limited the damage by the Hawkeyes’ lineup. This time, it was Griffan Smith, who allowed just one run over six innings of work with six strikeouts despite walking six batters. Andrew Magno was brilliant in relief, holding Iowa scoreless over the game’s final three innings as the Buckeyes were able to avoid the sweep with a 5-1 win on Sunday.
OSU struck early, getting its first run of the ballgame on an RBI single from Brent Todys in the second inning. They tallied another run in the second inning after Ridge Winand came home to score on a wild pitch following his leadoff triple. Todys knocked in two more runs in the bottom of the sixth before Iowa recorded their only run of the game on an RBI groundout in the seventh. The Buckeyes scored their final run of the afternoon on a triple by Matt Carpenter, aided by a collision in the Iowa outfield. Magno earned his seventh save of the year while allowing just three hits in three innings.
Ohio State now sits at 24-20 on the season, with a 7-8 record in the Big Ten. With his efforts in the Iowa series, Dominic Canzone has now extended his on-base streak to 40 games, and his hit streak to a career-high 17 games. His reached-base streak is the longest by a Buckeye since Nick Swisher’s 51-game stretch in 2002. Dillon Dingler extended his own on-base streak to 20 games.
The Bucks will next hit the road for a one-game matchup with Miami (Ohio) on Wednesday, before resuming Big Ten play with a three-game road series against Minnesota beginning on Friday. Game one in the series against the Golden Gophers will be broadcast on Fox Sports One, with first pitch scheduled for 9 p.m. ET.